Marvel takes a gigantic risk… and still remains triumphant.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a straight up, hard core, Sci-Fi flick. Much more so than anything else on the Marvel roster. The only touchstone in the cinematic world would be DC comics Green Lantern which as we know was roundly hated by everybody. Directer James Gunn made his only critically acclaimed film four years ago with the admittedly brilliant SUPER and his only other work of note is 2006’s average horror/comedy Slither. Main star Chris Pratt has been roundly praised for his work in beloved TV comedy Parks and Recreation and has had a slew of impressive supporting roles but he has never been asked to carry a summer block buster of this magnitude or even anything close. Alongside Pratt, is a talking raccoon, a green woman, a giant alien and a talking tree that can only say his own name in the style of Hodor…
…Somehow, against huge fucking odds and almost to the annoyance of everyone waiting for the ongoing Marvel worldwide domination to finally hit a glitch, Guardians of the Galaxy is a raging success. It is incredible for a franchise that has recently been criticised for the perceived lack of risks in sequels such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3 to spend so much money on a film with such a crazy concept and with such gigantic likelihood of failure.
After I managed to separate Pratt from his famous TV counterpart Andy Dwyer (Parks & Rec) I really enjoyed his performance. His blend of cockiness and humour with heroism and strength is almost Han Solo-esque (!). The two major CGI characters (again a raccoon and tree for fucks sake) are actually high points rather than annoying hindrances and the action sequences, particularly in the last half an hour, are genuinely stunning.
The soundtrack is really solid, the acting is flawless and consistent and visually Guardians of the Galaxy is the best film I have seen in the last year. Director James Gunn has also framed things very nicely for a sequel rather than shoe horning something half arsed in at the lost moment.
At this point after the ridiculous success of Guardians of the Galaxy it seems like Marvel can do absolutely nothing wrong. If they can bring together all these bizarre components and have the balls to turn it into a successful summer blockbuster they can do anything.
IMDB TOP 250 #198
NOMINATED FOR 2 OSCARS